The Akash Mk-II will be a longer-range, faster and more accurate SAM. Ok, now here’s the low-down on the Akash Mk-II. The missile will have an intercept range of 30-35 km, or a little over 10-km more than the Mk-I version. Apart from extending range, the Mk-II project mandate will be to increase accuracy of the missile’s guidance system and the fire control system, push up the missile’s performance, agility, speed, efficiency and accuracy. This will involve tweaking of almost all major systems, including the missile itself, signal processors etc.
Project Akash-II has set itself a deadline of 18 months to begin simulated trials, following which it will begin a routine of development test-firings. While Mk-I cost DRDO Rs 1,000-crore to complete, the Mk-II project has taken a decision not to ask for funds unless it absolutely needs them. An interim feasibility study conducted by the laboratories concerned has shown that scientists are confident of getting the first prototype up and ready on a modest tech-dem budget extended to all follow-on programmes.